Sebastian County to have special election for UAFS sales tax

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SEBASTIAN COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local group comes out against a Sebastian County tax extension that would continue to fund the University of Arkansas Fort Smith.

In a special election this November voters will decide whether to extend a one-quarter percent sales tax for an additional 10 years.

The sales tax, which funds programs and improvements at UAFS, originally went into effect back in 2002.

It’s set to end in 2022 unless voters decide otherwise.

Michael Barr with UAFS says the sales tax brings in around $6 million a year.

He calls it a return investment for Sebastian County but attorney Joey McCutchen with the Citizens Against Unfair Taxes says the tax wasn’t supposed to be permanent.

“We’re investing a quarter cent sales tax to invest in our kids, to keep college affordable for them, to make sure they have good opportunities connected to careers right here in Sebastian County,” Barr said.

“I think over 6900 bachelor degrees have been awarded over the last 10 years, which is awesome the bottom line is, this was not meant to be a permanent tax,” McCutchen said.

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